August 30, 2011 (ATLANTA) — Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) physician, Chief Executive Officer and President Dr. Bancroft Lesesne was consulted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) and WSB TV regarding the cancer drug shortage many clinics are facing this year.
Dr. Jayanthi Srinivasiah (Dr. Jay) was also featured on CBS News regarding the drug shortage crisis affecting her patients with colon cancer. On one day alone this week she was forced to change the treatments for a total of ten patients.
Dr. Jay expressed her concern, “I am very afraid there will be compromise to patient care.”
The AJC reports that, “the reasons for the shortages vary. Some drug manufacturers are discontinuing older drugs and replacing them with newer ones, which are usually more profitable, according to the FDA. They are also recalling some drugs because of quality problems.”
The drugs in short supply are mostly those used to treat breast, lung, lymphoma, and colon cancer. The shortages have already affected GCS patients, such as Flo Burke of Cumming, who suffered an allergic reaction when she was forced to take an alternate drug because of the shortage of Taxol.
“There’s a standard treatment we might recommend to a patient based on the disease and the stage,” Dr. Lesesne said. “If the drugs aren’t available we have to make substitutions. We think they’re just as effective but you can never be quite sure.”
GCS – a top-ten cancer practice in the U.S. – recognizes the threat drug shortages pose to cancer research, and patient care. The issue is far-reaching and the results are agonizing. Dr. Lesesne says, “”I don’t see [the shortages] getting any better,” he said. “One drug will become available and then there’s a shortage of another. It’s seems to be a moving target.”
Georgia Cancer Specialists is a Top 10 private cancer practice in the U.S. and a leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The practice supports more than 200,000 patient visits each year. GCS offers community-based medical oncology and hematology services and is the first private oncology practice to also provide a full range of support services for patients in Georgia, including nutritional counseling, pain management, wellness counseling, and home health coordination. The GCS research department, whose focus is bringing targeted cancer therapy to communities, is the first in Georgia to offer Phase I clinical trials, the most novel cancer therapies available. GCS has 28 offices, 44 physicians, and more than 500 support staff members located in Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia. Georgia Cancer Specialists can be found on the web at www.gacancer.com. GCS is The Cancer Answer.